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Will Wade receives five-year extension at McNeese

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Texas A&M Commerce Lions vs. McNeese Cowboys: Game Highlights (1:48)

Texas A&M Commerce Lions vs. McNeese Cowboys: Game Highlights (1:48)

McNeese coach Will Wade has received a five-year contract extension, the school announced Tuesday.

Wade, who was hired last spring, has the Cowboys at 20-3 overall and 9-1 in the Southland in his first season at the helm.

He will make $700,000 per year in his new deal, source told ESPN. His buyout to leave for other schools has increased but is still not considered prohibitive for most power conference schools. It will be $1.25 million after this season and $1 million after next season.

"He and I have had a lot of conversations over the last month and I'm glad we were able to get this done," athletic director Heath Schroyer said in a news release. "When he and I talked last year, I promised him when the program was turned around and flipped, I would rip up the current contract and give him a new one."

Wade's rapid rebuild at McNeese, whose nonconference season included road wins at VCU and Michigan, has made him one of the more interesting names to watch entering this spring's coaching carousel. He has already been linked with the vacancy at DePaul.

"We're with you and fighting for you every day. It takes a lot of people to make this program work. It's not just me. I have a phenomenal staff," Wade said in the release, adding that he was "humbled" by the contract. "It doesn't work without them. We have tremendous players and they make it happen. And with that, we've got phenomenal alignment and commitment from our administration."

Wade was suspended for the first 10 games of the season as part of the punishment handed down last June from the Independent Accountability Resolution Process. During his time at LSU, he was found to have committed three Level I NCAA violations, including making impermissible payments to the former fiancée of a player, while also failing to cooperate in an investigation and failing to promote an atmosphere of compliance. He was also given a two-year show-cause order.

LSU had been under investigation since the federal investigation into college basketball became public in September 2017. Wade was fired by the school on the eve of the 2022 NCAA tournament after the school received a notice of allegations detailing five Level I violations and was previously suspended shortly before the 2019 NCAA tournament after reports revealed that a federal wiretap captured him discussing a "strong-ass offer" for a recruit.